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With all 39 episodes of Revolutionary Girl Utena under my belt, am I any better placed to explain what the hell this series is actually about? That’s a very daunting prospect, as I feel that especially regarding this final 6-episode “Apocalypse Saga” I’d need a PhD in metaphor and symbolism to even scratch the surface. Suffice to say, this is not a show one can possibly hope to digest in one setting, let alone two. …


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Remember last time when I expressed my concern that Revolutionary Girl Utena might disappear up its own rear end in the next arc? Thankfully that hasn’t quite happened, but boy does this show like to make its viewers work that much harder to parse what is actually going on, over and above the overwrought emotional teenage drama and stylised visuals.

This final blu-ray volume delves into some deep, dark and distressing territory, so if discussion about sexual/emotional abuse, incest and rape is likely to upset you, perhaps this isn’t the article for you.


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Yotsugi’s feeling glum. Or maybe embarrassed. Or disappointed? It’s hard to tell.

After a break of over 8 months, I’ve finally returned to complete my journey through the seemingly never-ending Monogatari series. With this first arc from the so-called Final Season, December 2014’s Tsukimonogatari, I’m only 6 years or so behind broadcast, so I’m making pretty good time. Last time, I reviewed Koimonogatari (Love Story), which wrapped up the second season’s main arc involving Sengoku Nadeko and her ascension to snake-godhood.


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You will watch my anime or I will squeam and squeam and squeam until I make myself sick. Or I’ll kick you in the face until you cry.

Yesterday I examined Crunchyroll’s packed seasonal slate, and today we’ll look at Funimation’s. This season, Funimation has most of the new shows and fewer sequels overall. Funimation’s apps still tend to be extremely flaky and at times completely refuse to stream certain shows via certain devices for me, without utilising unacceptable workarounds. Come on guys, get your act together.

Continuing series/sequels:

Higurashi When The Cry: Gou: Episodes 13–19 of 24


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With such an insanely packed Winter 2021 anime season, I’ve had no choice but to break my traditional half-way seasonal assessment into two parts. Today we’ll look at Crunchyroll’s offerings — mostly sequels, and tomorrow we’ll look at Funimation’s — mostly new shows.

The COVID-19 pandemic certainly reduced the number of 2020 anime shows that successfully completed production, and Winter 2021’s slate attests that many were instead punted to this year. Keeping up with seasonal anime already felt like a full-time job (on top of my actual, very real job) but now this feels like pulling overtime. …


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Redo of Healer

TRIGGER WARNING: GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF RAPE, SEXUAL ABUSE, PROSTITUTION AND SLAVERY FOLLOW

Sometimes I need to heed the warnings of my better-informed peers. Had I done so, I would not have suffered through possibly the unhappiest 48 minutes of my life so far — the first two episodes of HIDIVE’s sole Winter 2021 exclusive — the miserable, perverse and offensive Redo of Healer.

As a collective, AniTAY (the site I regularly write for) deliberately did not cover this in their recent “First Impressions” article series — and for good reason, it turns out. This is not a show anyone has…


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Some of the very best movies leave behind a sense of aching melancholy, an intangible feeling that persists long after the end credits roll. 2018's Penguin Highway is one such film — an aquatic story that effortlessly outmatches the similarly themed anime Children of the Sea. As the perfectly matched closing song “Good Day” tugged at my heartstrings, I immediately felt drawn to rewind to the strange, surreal and whimsical scenes conjured by original novel author Tomihiko Morimi (The Tatami Galaxy, Night is Short, Walk on Girl and The Eccentric Family) and expertly adapted by first-time feature director Hiroyasu Ishida…


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Anyone who survived UK anime fandom in the early-to-mid-1990s, can effortlessly list the most prominent hits of the time — Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll, most infamously Urotsukidoji. All released on VHS by Manga Video and marketed to the “beer and curry crowd” who wanted something lurid, noisy and violent to watch with their mates on a Saturday night.

I have great memories of that time — as a (far too) young teenager watching these bizarre animated shows, often on 2nd or 3rd generation copies with my friends. On particular friend had a membership at a video rental…


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So when I volunteered to write something for this “first impressions” series, my favoured shows were already snapped up by my fellow writers’ sticky paws. Oh well, I thought, maybe it’ll be fun to review something I’ve never heard of. This “Hidden Dungeon” thing might be fun.” I held uneducated preconceptions that this might be some kind of whimsical, light-hearted magical adventure, and to be fair, the first minute did nothing to dispel my unwarranted optimism.

“This world is filled with dungeons,” intones the narrator, as the visuals morph from a foreboding cave entrance to a rushing river, a doom-laden…


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My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising

Here’s a fateful quote from my 10-month old My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising review: “The first part of 2020 has certainly been great so far for cinematic anime… I hope the rest of the year can keep up with this relative feast of theatrical Japanese animation”.

I’m sorry. I jinxed it. 2020 was my fault. A little pandemic cancelled all subsequent theatrical anime releases in the Western world and directly contributed to Demon Slayer: Mugen Train becoming the highest-grossing cinematic release in Japan, outperforming even Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and Shinkai’s Your Name.

DoctorKev

Physician. Obsessed with anime, manga, comic-books. Husband and father. Christian. Fascinated by tensions between modern culture and traditional faith. Bit odd.

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